Building Vocabulary for PSLE English Composition

Vocabulary: A vital role in the PSLE English composition Paper 1

Vocabulary plays a vital role in the English composition component of the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) in Singapore. A wide-ranging and robust vocabulary allows students to express their thoughts more accurately, making their writing more vivid and engaging. This article explores various strategies for building vocabulary for the PSLE English Composition.

Understanding the Importance of Vocabulary

Vocabulary is the foundation of language and communication. It influences reading comprehension, expressive and receptive language skills, and academic success. For the PSLE English Composition, a strong vocabulary allows students to craft well-articulated narratives, enhancing their scores.

Building Vocabulary: Effective Strategies

1. Reading Widely

Reading is an indispensable tool for vocabulary building. Encourage your child to read widely – fiction, non-fiction, newspapers, and magazines. This exposes them to a variety of words and phrases, enriching their vocabulary.

2. Use of Vocabulary Notebooks

Encourage your child to maintain a vocabulary notebook. They can jot down any new words they encounter, along with their meanings, synonyms, antonyms, and example sentences. Reviewing this notebook regularly can help embed these new words into their active vocabulary.

3. Use New Words in Context

Learning new words is most effective when they’re used in context. Encourage your child to use newly learnt words in sentences and in daily conversations. This helps them understand not only the meaning of the words but also their usage.

4. Learning Synonyms and Antonyms

Understanding synonyms and antonyms can expand your child’s vocabulary exponentially. It allows them to express similar ideas in different ways, adding variety to their writing.

5. Word Games

Word games like Scrabble, Boggle, or online vocabulary games can be a fun way to learn new words. They encourage thinking, improve spelling, and expand vocabulary.

6. Use Vocabulary Apps and Online Tools

Many vocabulary apps and online tools are available that provide word lists, quizzes, flashcards, and games to enhance vocabulary. Some of these platforms use spaced repetition systems, which is an effective method to retain new words.

7. Engage in Vocabulary-rich Conversations

Try to have vocabulary-rich conversations with your child. Discuss different topics, express opinions, and ask open-ended questions. This not only boosts their vocabulary but also enhances their critical thinking and communication skills.

Aiming for Continuous Vocabulary Growth

Vocabulary building is not a one-off task, but a continuous process. The goal is to foster a lifelong love for words and language in your child. Here are a few ways to ensure continuous vocabulary growth:

Encourage Curiosity

Foster a learning environment where your child feels comfortable asking about words they don’t understand. Encourage their curiosity and facilitate their learning.

Cultivate a Love for Words

Try to cultivate a love for words in your child. Show them that words are not just tools for communication, but also a means to understand and appreciate the world.

Be Patient

Language learning takes time. Be patient and celebrate every little progress your child makes. Remember that consistent practice and usage are key to vocabulary retention.


Building a robust vocabulary for PSLE English Composition is an achievable goal with the right strategies and consistent effort. Vocabulary enrichment not only prepares your child for the PSLE but also equips them with strong language skills that will serve them well in their academic journey and beyond. Be supportive, be engaged, and most importantly, create a fun and interactive environment where learning becomes an enjoyable experience.